CPA Now

By Peter Calcara

PICPA Vice President - Government Relations

  • Pa. Budget Passes General Assembly with Relative Ease

    This year, we experienced a political unicorn in Harrisburg. Not only were the 2021-2022 state budget negotiations relatively painless, but also everything was voted on in an expedient fashion and the budget was wrapped well before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1. Adding to the overall ease of the process – and probably another political unicorn – was the state’s revenue surplus and unused funds received from the federal government for COVID relief.
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  • More than Municipal Primaries: The Constitution and Courts on the Ballot

    Much of politics is local, to paraphrase former U.S. Speaker of House Thomas P. O’Neill, and Pennsylvania voters in May 2021 will determine who will vie for positions in the county courthouse, townships, boroughs, and school boards. This year’s primary election, however, has added significance with proposed amendments to the state constitution.
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  • PICPA Scores Three-in-One Legislative Victory

    It is rare when the stars align in Harrisburg, but when they do it is an impressive process to watch unfold. The PICPA was a key contributor to just such an occurrence when the state House and Senate lawmakers agreed to expedite legislation championed by the PICPA that addresses three problematic tax issues. A victory for the public, a victory for CPAs, and a victory for PICPA!
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  • CPAs Offer Financial Policy Options to Pennsylvania Lawmakers

    CPAs have extensive experience helping clients meet their fiscal challenges head-on and directing them toward success. Pennsylvania, too, faces fiscal challenge, and the PICPA's Fiscal Responsibility Task Force has developed a report to assist those in governance find a sound financial footing for the state's financial health.
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  • Forgiven PPP Loans Now Exempt from Pa. Personal Income Tax

    The strength of PICPA's 20,000 members was on display recently in Harrisburg as the PICPA scored a major legislative victory in ensuring that forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans would be exempt from state personal income tax.
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  • PICPA Virtual Town Halls Bring Members Closer to the Action

    The PICPA recently hosted a series of virtual town hall meetings in all 11 of our chapters. The Legislator Town Hall series gave members an opportunity to hear from our elected officials and raise concerns in an informal setting.
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  • Successful Advocacy Requires Finding New Paths Forward

    At this time of year, the PICPA government relations team usually is humming along preparing for PICPA’s annual Day on the Hill event. We had been contemplating changes to this annual gathering, but with the COVID-19 pandemic it seems our hand has been forced. It’s time to pursue new paths forward in advocacy.
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  • Pa. General Assembly Gives Dept. of Revenue Authority to Extend Filing and Payment Deadlines

    The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed House Bill 1232, which amends the Fiscal Code and temporarily authorizes the Department of Revenue to extend tax filing and payment deadlines. The PICPA has spoken with state legislators about the need for consistency across taxing bodies and levels, and this legislation provides much needed clarification.
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  • Pa. Property Tax Reform: For Real This Time?

    Most public policy issues get addressed in some form or fashion, while others never seem to get resolved. Pennsylvania school property tax reform is one of those issues that hangs around year after year. Believe it or not, progress is being made on this front.
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  • Pa. CPA Law: PICPA Working on Enhancements

    The PICPA is seeking amendments to the Pennsylvania CPA Law that will enable CPAs to better meet the needs of an evolving industry. House Bill 2288 will codify the professional conduct standards and expand the scope of education applicable to an accounting degree, among other adjustments.
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  • Dues Tax Meeting with DOR Provides Clarity, Guidance

    The PICPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue met to discuss DOR’s Sales and Use Tax Letter Ruling 20-001, which spoke on the taxability of professional association membership fees. The discussion provided much needed clarity.
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  • Pennsylvania Opens Door to Taxing Membership Fees

    On Jan. 31, 2020, the Pa. Department of Revenue issued Sales and Use Tax Letter Ruling No. SUT-20-001, which states that if membership fees include the transfer of taxable property in addition to nontaxable services, the entire membership charge is subject to tax. This presents a host of issues for the PICPA and other membership communities.
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  • Ever Receive a Dated Tax Notice from the Pa. DOR? Act 90 of 2019 Establishes a 10-Year Collection Window

    House Bill 17, now Act 90 of 2019, was the culmination of more than a year’s work over two legislative sessions of the General Assembly by the PICPA and its friends in the legislature. Find out how difficult this advocacy process can be.
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  • Expungement in Pa.: Clear a Minor Infraction from Your CPA Record

    Act 6 of 2018 gives the commissioner of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) the authority to expunge the disciplinary records of licensees under BPOA’s jurisdiction. But what does that mean exactly for CPAs in the state?
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  • Occupational Licensing Reform Needs a Guard Against Mishap

    State lawmakers across the country are removing barriers to a person’s right to work in numerous occupations and professions. Some have taken the path of outright elimination of state licensing. The PICPA is taking an active role in protecting the CPA designation so the profession will not be caught flatfooted should similar legislation be brought up for a vote in Pennsylvania.
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  • Pa. General Assembly Set to Return to Harrisburg

    Events in the Pennsylvania capital this summer have mostly consisted of a few public policy hearings, gubernatorial press conferences, and a handful of rallies. But one bill in particular was proposed that deserves our members’ attention: it focuses on property tax.
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  • Advocacy Never Rests: PICPA Works Behind the Scenes in Quiet Harrisburg

    A quiet Harrisburg isn’t a license to stop advocating on behalf of the CPA profession. On the contrary, the quiet offers excellent opportunities. The PICPA government relations team is hard at work with key lawmakers, staff, and various state agencies on our fall session agenda.
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  • Pennsylvania Spending Plan Beats July 1 Deadline

    A $33.9 billion Pennsylvania state budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year has made its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk with time to spare before the deadline. Find out who the winners were this budget season.
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  • Final Countdown to the 2019-2020 State Budget

    There is a chance, it seems, that Pennsylvania actually will have a budget in place before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. It’s hard to believe if you've ever followed state budget negotiations, but it could happen.
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  • Harrisburg Heats Up: Tax Bills on the Move

    The 2019-2020 Pennsylvania General Assembly committees are beginning to kick out legislation for consideration by the full House and Senate. Of the hundreds of bills already introduced, the PICPA is actively following more than two dozen.
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